GU Playing Second Fiddle in D.C.

By Sean P. Flynn Hoya Staff Writer

Right now I’m sitting here in Washington, D.C., praying that the Hoyas win one more game so that there’s a chance of making it to a consolation tournament. On the other side of the Potomac River, on some commuter campus across the street from IHOP, there is celebration for making it to the Big Dance.

If there needed to be any convincing that Georgetown basketball was no longer the big show in Washington, D.C., it was last night, when George Mason, a minor-conference school from Arlington whose student population comprises local commuters, won the Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Okay, the CAA is not of the same caliber as the Big East. But during a season in which Georgetown has made losing late an art form, the city’s other teams, whom Georgetown has avoided putting on its schedule, have stolen the spotlight.

The greatest symbol of this change was in December, when Maryland and George Washington played hosts to Stanford and DePaul in the BB&T Classic at MCI Center, Georgetown’s home court. Both days of the tournament sold out and put the spotlight on the District’s most improved college basketball franchise.

But two days before, instead of preparing for what could be a Big Five-like tournament, D.C. style, the Hoyas were playing one of their minor-conference cupcakes, Morgan State, in front of 6,003 fans at MCI Center.

Along with the publicity, these area programs have stolen the wins, too. Maryland seems to have pilfered Georgetown’s title as the District’s top program, bringing the area a consistent winning program as well as one of the nation’s most exciting squads. This season, with a record of 25-4, the Terrapins are on line to pick up a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Down in Foggy Bottom, , George Washington has stayed successfuldespite a coaching change and probably will make the NCAA Tournament after winning its division in the Atlantic-10. Five-foot-4 phenom Shawnta Rogers is a possible All-American who continues to wow audiences with huge performances in such a small frame.

And now, to cap it off, George Mason wins an NCAA bid as Georgetown holds its breath for the National Invitational Tournament.

For Georgetown, it is rare that we have to say, “Wait ’til next year,” but that is all anyone can really do. Next year’s recruiting class has been highly touted and is supposed to be one of the best in the nation.

But then again, so was last year’s and the year before’s. For all the promise of great teams at Georgetown in recent years, seven players have departed Georgetown early in the last three years for various – oftentimes embarrassing – reasons.

Now, Georgetown drags its feet and continues its old ways while the city’s other universites steal the spotlight.

For a Hoya fan, it’s almost as difficult to watch as these last-second defeats.


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